Indiana football fell to Ohio State in Columbus 42-35. No. 9 Indiana falls to 4-1 on the season.
Key takeaways from the Hoosiers loss:
Mistakes foil Hoosiers again
IU had dodged costly penalties and poor execution at times against weaker competition in their first four games. Turnovers were costly in this one. A David Ellis fumble in the red zone at the end of the second quarter changed the game. IU likely would have brought it to 21-14. Instead the fumble resulted in a clinical Buckeye drive and touchdown that made it 28-7. With IU outsourcing OSU 28-7 to close the game, Hoosier fans are again left thinking what could have been.
Drops were costly as well. Ty Fryfogle dropped a would-be fourth-down conversion in Ohio State territory in the first quarter. David Ellis dropped a ball that would be a big play at the end of the third quarter. The next play was a Michael Penix pick six. That was the only Buckeye score after the 12-minute mark of the third quarter.
IU’s defense also continued to force turnovers with three interceptions. Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields had three interceptions. He had a career three interceptions coming into Saturday’s game. However, IU after 17 points off turnovers last week had no points off turnovers Saturday. Most costly was a Jamar Johnson fumble on an interception return.
Michael Penix has career game
The redshirt sophomore quarterback showed why he is one of the best in the Big Ten and arguably in the country. Frequently under duress, he made poised throws including a few spectacular ones to Ty Fryfogle. Statically he throughly outplayed one of the Heisman favorites in Fields.
He threw for a career-high 491 yards and shredded an Ohio State secondary with some talented albeit young playmakers. Saturday was just Penix’s second loss as a starter. His play had to make Hoosier fans excited for the rest of the season.
Hoosiers outclassed in trenches
Indiana’s rush defense was third best in the Big Ten coming into Saturday’s game. Buckeyes running back Master Teague had a field day with a career-high 169 yards. With Justin Fields surprisingly struggling in the first half OSU adjusted by running it down the throat of the Hoosier defense. IU never had a good answer.
The Hoosier offensive line was not much better. IU abandoned the run game in the second half. Granted, they did not need to run the ball. But the Hoosiers offense, which outscored the Buckeyes 28-7 down the stretch, struggled in the first half. Pass protection was suspect with Penix having little time to throw the ball.
Overall, it was a valiant fight by the Hoosiers. They showed the LEO mantra of always believing. IU football should not fall far in the rankings and can continue to create history to finish a memorable season.